Nine Google Search Tricks You Need to Be Using

By David Nield on at

Google is your portal to everything out there on the World Wide Web...but the search engine is also your portal to more and more of your personal stuff, from the location of your phone to the location of your Amazon delivery. If you’re signed into the Google search page, and you use other Google services, here are five search tricks worth knowing.

It probably goes without saying but just in case: only you can see these results. Nobody else can Google your next hotel trip. How well they work is going to depend on how plugged in you are to other tools like Gmail, but they’re useful shortcuts from the Google homepage or the Chrome address bar.

“I’ve lost my phone”

The newest one in our list is essentially an easier way to get to Android Device Manager. Google “I’ve lost my phone” to see the last known location of all the phones linked to your Google account. You can call and lock your phone as well as locate it, and it works with both Android and iOS devices.

“Contact <name>

Get at your Google Contacts straight from the Google search page with this trick, simply adding the name of one of your friends or family members after the “contact” keyword. If there’s more than one match found, you’ll see a list of options; click on any of the results to initiate an audio call over Hangouts.

“My deliveries”

9 Secret Google Search Tricks

Next, a series of personal searches that tap into the information Google has from your Gmail account. Use “my deliveries” (or “packages” or “purchases”) to see recent orders stashed in your inbox, then click on any of the entries shown on screen and you can see prices together with any available tracking details.

“My flights”

For a while now Gmail has done a very good job of spotting travel plans hidden among your email messages (it’s basically what Inbox is built on) and if you Google “my flights” you can see past and future trips through the air. Expand any entry in the list to see flight numbers, times, and other salient details.

“My hotels”

The “my hotels” search works just like the flights one, with Google tapping into your inbox to bring up all the hotel reservations you’ve made. Again, click on any entry in the list to see the details. You can jump straight to the relevant email in Gmail, get directions to the hotel, and see older reservations too.

“My shows”

9 Secret Google Search Tricks

Run a search for “my shows” and you see all of your upcoming plays, gigs and other events that you might have a confirmation for somewhere in your Gmail account. Google does a decent job of pulling out the right details for you. Use “my reservations” to see both hotels and shows in the same list together.

“My bills”

You probably don’t want to be reminded about upcoming bills you’ve got to pay or about any money going out of your bank account, but just in case... “my bills” will find it for you, provided that there’s some kind of record in your Gmail account. If you want any financial assistance, that’s a separate Google search.

“My events”

A quick way of setting everything that’s coming up in your Google Calendar. You can also run queries like “when’s my next appointment?” or “what am I doing next week?” to get personal answers from Calendar. Click on an entry to see dates, times, descriptions and a list of the guests signed up to attend.

“My photos”

9 Secret Google Search Tricks

Hello, Google Photos! Google can bring up a response to “my photos” and “my videos” provided you’re using its in-house photo storage service. You can even get creative: try “my photos of me” or “my photos of cats” and see what kind of a results you get. It’s all very slick and straightforward.